Thursday, November 05, 2009

An Alien Post

How would an ethical alien from outer space see the way we analyze violence? Some types of violence are analyzed to the bones (no pun intended), with all sorts of experts chipping in. Other types of violence (trigger warning for the links which follow) are analyzed very little, and this is usually the case with stories where the victims are mostly women. It is as if the sex of the victim is explanation enough.

We simply assume that these things unfortunately sometimes happen to women and spend very little time in trying to understand the killer's/killers' motives. In other cases we do spend time trying to understand what made someone commit such heinous acts, and ultimately this is so that future events of the same kind could be avoided.

Why the different treatment?
Added later:

Astonishingly, I now have an actual example of the analysis that follows violence which is not specifically against women:

Before making judgments about the shootings at Fort Hood, a thorough investigation needs to take place, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said Thursday.

"It is imperative that we take the time to gather all the facts, as it would be irresponsible to be the source of rumors or inaccurate information regarding such a horrific event," Cornyn said in a statement.

"Once we have ascertained all the facts, working with our military leaders and law enforcement officials on the ground, we can determine what exactly happened at Fort Hood today and how to prevent something like this from ever happening again," he said.